Making Offices Accessible

The lists below are not exhaustive, but are meant to provide guidance.

What makes an office accessible to wheelchair users?

  • A clear pathway through your facility that is 36" wide (it can be as narrow as 32" at doorways)
  • Counter tops or service windows that are no higher than 34" from the floor
  • Self-serve materials placed within easy reach
  • Work stations or writing desks no higher than 34" from the floor, and which have 27" clear space between the bottom of the writing/work surface and the floor
  • A 60" diameter clear area where someone in a wheelchair can turn around
  • In single-user accessible bathrooms, make sure that no additional furniture (e.g., storage cabinets, tables) are placed in the required 60" diameter unobstructed turning space.

What makes an office accessible to people who are blind or vision-impaired?

  • A clear pathway through your facility that has:
    • No objects hanging overhead that are lower than 80" from the floor (signs, plants, etc.)
    • No objects protruding from the walls more than 4", if the bottom edge of the protruding object is higher than 27" from the floor
    • No objects placed in "unexpected" places (flower pots or ashtrays placed away from walls, or placed where someone using a handrail would run into them)
  • Written materials available by request in enlarged or electronic format
  • Burned-out lights should be reported and fixed promptly, especially in public areas

What makes an office accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing?

  • Front-line staff familiar with the Telecommunications Relay Service, a free national service in which relay operators provide two-way translation for people who use Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD).

What makes an office accessible to people who have stamina problems?

  • Chairs available where long lines form
  • Signs posted informing people with stamina problems of their options

What makes an office accessible to people who have allergies and respiratory conditions?

  • Windows that open
  • Staff members who refrain from wearing perfume, and who keep their use of scented products (i.e. highly fragrant deodorants or shampoos) to a minimum